tv CNN Newsroom CNN March 29, 2011 1:00pm-3:00pm EDT
everyone who signed this bill. >> reporter: so you want them out of office. >> yes, i do. >> reporter: bill wright says he's already feeling the heat arngsry e-mails, even death threats. you're not afraid? >> i'm not afraid. >> reporter: he says he's unfazed by the political fallout. >> i don't need to be in office to verify who i am. >> reporter: thelma gutierrez, cnn, salt lake city, utah. cnn "newsroom" continues right now with randi kaye in for al ali velshi. good afternoon. it's 1:00 p.m. eastern time. you're looking at live fkt pkts from london, 6:00 p.m. there. hillary clinton had her first face-to-face meeting with the opposition from libya. dotzs other countries and organizations are meeting in london. clinton says they must deepen the isolation of the gadhafi regime. she's expected to speak on today's meeting momentarily and we will, of course, bring that to you live. first, another big story.
remember too too big to fail, the rationale for bailing out wall street at the start of the great recession? of course you do. now comes the hotly debated legal premise, too big to sue. that's at the heart of a case that was argued today at the highest court in the land, a case that by any standard is huge. it dates back a decade. six women who worked for walmart claimed they didn't get the same pay and opportunities that the men did. the issue now is whether other women employees, past and present, can join what would then become the largest class action employment suit in u.s. history. walmart, america's largest private employer, says, no, the class would be too big, the plaintiffs too dissimilar, the issues too many to litigate. the plaintiffs say walmart wants a big company exception to civil rights 0 law. two lower federal courts have ruled the class and case can go forward. that brings us to the supreme court where we now have three women justices, the most ever. cnn's kate bolduan has been
following the case for us and joins us to recap the arguments. kate, good to see you. any sign that the women justices were at all receptive to the plaintiffs? >> reporter: that's very interesting. i would say, first off, that it did seem in the courtroom with the aggressive question you did hear from the female justices, that they were receptive to the women's claims to the sides of the plaintiffs. but, as i just said, there are three women on this court. so what it's looking like -- we always have to give it a huge caveat here because of course we never know until the justices rule -- from the commentary and from the questioning that what the justices are talking about in the court today suggests that the women plaintiffs here have an uphill battle to face as they are in this court case. it look like, suggesting it's not like lie they'll get the relief they want at the supreme court, that it could be an even split along ideological line, convict turf sieactives and
liberals, which fall alongsides of the aisle. you heard john roberts say at one point, really kind of questioning, if there are a couple of bad apples, couple bad supervisors or bosses, does that mean the entire company is at fault? we could get into the legalese, as i say, really deep, randi, but very, very briefly and generally, what really seemed to puzzle the justices, a majority of the justices, was the fact that walmart has an anti-discrimination policy in place, a companywide policy, had it in place since the company began. with that in place, it seems that they were struggling with, it would be hard for these plaintiffs to claim there is a kind of, quote unquote, corporate culture of failing to follow that policy, companywide, this being such a big company. that's what they seem to be struggling with. >> kate, let me quickly get to some sound. both sides talked to reporters after the arguments ended. we want to hear from one of the
lead plaintiffs and then someone from walmart. back to you in a second. >> i brought this case because i believe that there was a pattern of discrimination at walmart, not just in my store but i believe it's across the country. since our lawsuit started in 2001, i have heard from numerous women telling me basically the same story of mine, of disparity treatment in lack of promotion as well as in lack of pay. >> what's wrong with this case is that three plaintiffs are trying to represent more than 1.5 million associates. i've had a very positive experience at walmart, like thousands of other women, and not being able to opt out of the case is wrong. >> so, kate, if the class of women appemployees is certifieds they say, does that just mean more women could join the class action suit? >> reporter: if the plaintiffs continue with the class action lawsuit and win here -- we have
to warn the viewers this isn't even at the point of deciding if they've been discriminated against or not. we're just talking about the designation of the classes -- this would be a big win for the plaintiffs and, yes, some 1.5 million women could join this case because this would affect women, female walmart employees past and present. but the way the court seemed to be going randi and the way it sounded in oral arguments, it may sound more like walmart may feel more of a victory in this case. and if they would win, it wouldn't necessarily, of course, stop any discrimination claims or stop any class action down the road per se, but it would really limit the power these plaintiffs are looking for, the bargaining power that comes with a class designation. that's what the plaintiffs' attorney say would be so horrible. this would be kind of david taking on goliath and they have to do it as a big group rather than one person individually if they want any chance of winning against a company like walmart. >> kate bolduan, thank you.
activist erin brockovich testified on capitol hill this morning. she spoke at a hearing on disease clusters and environmental health. she told senators she's hoping to investigate groundwater contaminations in multiple states and she has witnessed the devastating and cancerous effects of pollution on small communities. >> these communities, both large and small, and in every corner of the united states are sending out an s.o.s., from small farming towns like cameron, missouri, to small desert towns like midland, texas, to the forgotten town of led wood, miz midst, or the lead mining tales are so large the children think that they are hills and they play on them. >> we want to take you now to london where secretary of state hillary clinton is speaking. she had her first face-to-face meeting with a leader of the opposition in libya today. let's hear what she has to say. >> national council to hear
their perspective on the situation in libya. we talked about our efforts to protect civilians and to meet humanitarian needs and about the ongoing coalition military action in support of resolution 1973. we also discussed the need for a political solution and transition in libya. and i reiterated the support of the united states on behalf of president obama for the legitimate aspirations of the libyan people and our commitment to helping them achieve those aspirations. i also had the opportunity to meet with both prime minister cameron and with foreign minister haig. i expressed the united states' gratitude for the critical leadership that the united kingdom has shown in building an effective international response to the crisis in libya. we consulted on the way forward, the military, political, and humanitarian dimensions. and we also discussed events and
broader trends across the middle east and north africa and our joint efforts in afghanistan and pakistan. i had the opportunity also to consult with a number of other counterparts about libya. because today's conference is taking place at a moment of transition, as nato takes over as leader of the coalition mission, a mission in which the united states will continue to play an active supporting role. some of our coalition partners announced additional support and contributions today, which we welcomed. in addition to our joint military efforts, we discussed the need for progress in libya along the three nonmilitary tracts. first, delivering humanitarian assistance, second, pressuring and isolating the gadhafi regime through robust sanctions and other measures. and, third, supporting efrpts by libyans to achieve the political changes that they are seeking.
we also agreed on a structure for decision making going forward on both the military and political tracts. on the military side, we agreed that the north atlantic council with coalition partners fully at the table will be the sole provider of executive direction for nato operations, similar to the isaf approach for afghanistan. on the political side, we agreed to establish a contact group to offer a systematic coordination mechanism and broad political guidance on the full range of efforts under resolutions 1970 and 1973. and, as i'm sure you just heard, from the prime minister of qatar, qatar has agreed to host the first meeting of the contact group along with the uk. in a series of side meetings, i also had the chance to discuss a number of issues, including syria. i expressed our strong condemntion of the syrian
government's brutal repression of demonstrations, in particular the violence and killing of civilians in the hands of security forces. i also discussed efforts that are undertaken by the organization of the islamic conference, particularly our joint effort to pass a resolution at the human rights council that promotes tolerance and respect as well as free expression. and we greatly appreciate the oic hosting a meeting of the international contact group on afghanistan and pakistan in jetta. i also was able to consult on a number of regional matters, including of course libya with foreign minister dovatolo of turkey. it was a full day for all of us. we came to london to speak with one voice in support of a transition that leads to a brighter future for the libyan people. i'm very pleased with the progress that we have made, both today and in the days preceding
it, and grateful for everyone who p participated in the conference and in the broader effort in libya. i think we are making a lot of progress together, and we could not do it unless we were representing the international community as we are. so, with that, i'd be happy to take your questions. >> our first question is from andy quinn of reuters. >> madam secretary, in your meeting today with dr. jabril, were you able to make any concrete offers of assistance to them, either through turning over the $33 billion in libyan funds that have been frozen in the united states or in discussing possible arms transfers? and admirable just told the senate today that intelligence shows flickers of al qaeda in the libyan opposition. how great a concern is that and is that part of the u.s. debate over any potential arms transfers to the transitional council. >> andy, first of all, we have
not made any decision about arming the rebels or providing any arms transferres so there h not been any need to discuss that at this point. we did discuss non-lethal assistance. we discussed ways of trying to enable the transition national council to meet a lot of their financial needs and how we could do that through the international community, given the challenges that sanctions pose but recognizing that they obviously are going to need funds to keep themselves going. we discussed broad range of matters and certainly their presentation, which some of you may have seen earlier today, as to what kind of civil society and political structure they are trying to build in libya are exactly in line with what they
have consistently said were their goals. their commitment to democracy and to a very robust engagement with people from across the spectrum of libyans is i think appropriate. we do not have any specific information about specific individual s from any organization who are part of this, but of course we're still get willing ting to know those leading the transitional national council, and that will be a process that continues. >> our next question is from sam coats of the "times" of london. >> two things. first of all, is it your understanding that the u.n. resolution 1973 makes it illegal to supply arms to the libyan rebels, or do you think that there could be some room for
maneuver if it should get to that? and secondly, it's quite striking when the rebels were walk talking earlier today, none of them are apart from 304, and they clearly have quite a lot of power and access to a lot of funds through oil money. do you think that they should be more transparent in terms of declaring who they are, where they're from, what kind of groupings they come from and how they are using the money? >> well, as to the first question, it is our interpretation that 1973 amended or overrode the absolute prohibition of the arms to anyone in libya so that there could be legitimate transfer of arms if a country were to choose to do that. as i said, we have not made that decision at this time. secondly, i do think that
greater transparency will, of course, be expected and will be delivered. but i think you have to put this into context. i mean, this is a very fast evolving but by no means settled structure that they are trying to build. they also claim to have a number of people who are willing to work with them from central and western libya who, for security reasons, cannot yet be named. so i do think that this is a work in progress, and, just as with respect to andy's question, we don't know as much as we would like to know and as much as we expect we will know. we're picking up information a lot of contact going on. not only by our government but many governments that are part of the coalition. so we're building an understanding, but, at this time, obviously it is, as i say,
a work in progress. >> jay song of the "wall street journal." >> thank you. i have a question regarding syria. over the weekend you gave an interview where you said how many members of congress viewed president assad as a reformer. is that your position? because it's been well documented, cases of syrian support for terrorist groups, allegations it's pursued atomic weapons and some in congress says syria actually poses a greater threat to the united states' national security han libya does. is it the obama administration's position now that it can work with president assad to initiate some of the reforms that his people are clearly calling for? thank you. >> first, jay, as you rightly pointed out, i referenced opinions of others. i was not speaking either for myself or for the administration. we deplore the crackdown that is occurring in syria, and we call
on syria, as we have throughout the last months, to respect the rights of its citizens, to allow people to protest peacefully, to work toward political and economic reform that would be to the benefit of the syrian people. so there's no difference in how we view this than how we have viewed the other incredible sequence of actions that we've seen in north africa and in the middle east. and we hope that there is an opportunity for reform. we hope there's an opportunity for reform in all of these countries. we want to see peaceful transitions. we want to see democracies that represent the will of the people. so i think that we're like the syrian people, waiting and watching to see what comes from the syrian government. you know, they dismissed the cabinet today, which resigned en
mass. and as we said many times before, we support the timely implementation of reforms that meet the demands that syrians are presenting to their government, such as immediately eliminating syria's state of emergency laws, which has been in effect for a long time. it is up to the syrian government. it is up to the laeldership, starting with president bashar assad, to prove that it can be responsive to the needs of its own people. so we're troubled by what we hear, but we're also going to continue to urge that the promise of reform, which has been made over and over again and which you reported on just a few months ago, i'm a reformer, i'm going to reform and i've talked to members of congress and others about that, that we hear from the highest levels of leadership in syria, will actually be turned into reality.
that's what we're waiting and watching for. >> the final question from duncan garden of "the daily telegraph." >> hi. i wondered how you view the situation in libya at the moment. there seems to be a bit of almost ping-pong going on, the rebels seem to be withdrawing from some areas today. how do you see the situation evolving in libya? how long do you see it lasting? if you're talking to gadhafi, what are his options? y he can obviously try and stay or he can face the icc. but is there a third option where he could travel to another country? >> well, first, i think that what we are seeing in libya is a strengthening of the opposition, a consistent and very persistent effort by opposition try to hold
ground, which they have had, and to regain ground which they have lost. unfortunately, we are also seeing with gadhafi a continuing pressure on the rebels, on his people, a willingness to use force. we had reports today of continuing military action by gadhafi's forces in misrata and elsewhere. so this is a volatile, dynamic situation that is unfolding. we accomplished a lot in a very short period of time. we clearly believe, as president obama said last night, that we prevented a massacre in benghazi, that we were able to stop the military advance that was moving rapidly from west to east, and that we sent a clear message fthrough the
international community's willingness to enforce a no-fly zone and protect civilians that that kind of ruthless behavior by a leader toward his own people would not be tolerated. this has happened so quickly that we're now facing questions like the ones you ask. but i'm not sure that we know exactly when we will get to any change in attitude by gadhafi and those around him. as you know there's a lot of recurring conversations going on, and, as the arab league has said, it's also obvious to everyone that gadhafi has lost the legitimacy to lead. so we believe he must go. we're working with the international community to try to achieve that outcome. he will have to make a decision, and that decision so far as we're aware has not yet been
made. you probably know that the secretary-general's special envoy will be going to tripoli and benghazi, once again to urge gadhafi to implement a real cease-fire that is not going to be immediately breached by his own forces, to withdraw from those areas that he has taken by force, and to look for a political resolution, which could include his leaving the country. so all of this is in play, and many of the nations that are here in london today are working together to try to gather information to share the impressions each has with the conversations that are coming from tripoli and from those close to gadhafi about what is or isn't being considered. so i expect to see things continue to move in a positive direction, but i can't by any means give you any sort of time
line. that is just not sensible at this point. we don't have enough information to do that. >> thank you all very much. >> and you've been listening to secretary hillary clinton. she's been meeting with ministers from dozens of countries and organizations there in london. she said that they came to london to speak with one voice about the future of libya, and she believes that they have accomplished that. they consulted on both political issues and humanitarian issues. she said they haven't made any decisions about whether or not to arm the rebels who have said that they need more air strikes, help on the ground. so we will continue to watch that as the u.s., she said, will continue as well to play a supporting role and an active role in libya. meanwhile, we want to continue our discussion about libya. leaders are waging the battle against gadhafi on two fronts. we're going to break that down with lieutenant colonel bob mcguinness right after this break.
before that quick break, you were listening to hillary clinton speaking in london. we want to bring in lieutenant colonel bob mcginnis joining us from d.c. bob, you just heard secretary hillary clinton. this has become somewhat of a messy civil war, really. what's missing seems to be specifics on the endgame here.
how do you see this all playing out? >> well, randi, it could end of being a stalemate. in other words, you could basically split the baby, east benghazi as the capital for rebels and west gadhafi survives. if the rebels continue to get robust support as they are now, making fairly good pro guess, i would say there's a good chance diplomat cli they could get gadhafi out and the rebels could take over. it just is about how long we endure. secretary clinton says they interpret resolution 1973 the okay to arm the rebels. so i suspect, if we think there's a chance that gadhafi will, in fact, work his way out of there, one way or another, that we'll begin to do some training and some equipping. and of course that will allow them to take care of the remnants of gadhafi's army that will got give up. >> she said they haven't made any decision yet on arming the
rebels. do you think that would be a good idea, necessary in the end? >> if gadhafi doesn'tive up and you want him out, i don't see any alternative. boots on the ground is something the president said we don't intend to do, but that doesn't mean the french and brits and others won't send in small teams. they don't have the numbers, though. that's the problem. a massive country, larger than alaska, 1100 miles of coastline. so you'd have to choose your targets very carefully and the numbers of troops have to be minimized. >> let's talk a little bit about what's happening on the ground there specifically. gadhafi forces again attacking the city of misrata. one resident called it utter carnage. president obama still saying that regime change by force is a mistake and that gadhafi won't be taken out by military power. so do you see this ending in a stalemate when this is all said and done, which some people fear? >> yeah. i'm afraid that it might, ranra. the president last night -- and
i think there's some justified criticism against the bush administration -- used the example of iraq. it took us eight-plus years to get out of there. we're still not out of there but hopefully soon. libya could end up being much the same. you go in there, even after all this massive firepower and put boots on the ground, it could take a long time because we don't know if this is going to morph into a counterinsurgency, which is a real possibility given the size of his army and the tribal differences. not all that different from the situation we've seen elsewhere. >> as the rebels continue to push west toward sirte, toward tripoli, will they need more air strikes to battle gadhafi's forces, do you think, as they've requested? >> absolutely. of course, we've already put our a-10 wart hogs in there. we're using ac-130 -- they have these large caliber machine guns, 105s on the side. that's for pinpointing even in a built-up area a particular
target. our precision capability is absolutely essential if you're going to take him out vehicle by vehicle. and this could be a protracted time period. the rebels can't do it by them sflz, clearly. >> when you look at the overall uprising unfolding throughout the middle east, all the violen violence, security and political experts argue there are other countries key to u.s. interest, maybe even more key, like syria. so can you help us understand how the u.s. might pick and choose which country to help or which country to begin using air strikes against? >> clearly you have to look at your vital national interest. syria, i think the secretary is right, we're watching she carefully. they have weapons of mass destruction, we know they have chemical weapons. we believe perhaps they could have a nuclear program, clearly they had one with the israelis knocked out a couple of years back. so if they threaten their neighbors and they have against us in iraq and the israelis by sponsoring terrorism, then that i think puts them a little higher on the list than perhaps
a couple other countries. but you have yemen falling apart, and it's the home of al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, which is a major threat to us. so there are a host of nations we have to watch. we have to look at our vital national interest. and keep in mind we have limited resources and can't just spread them so thinly we can't accomplish our missionses. >> lieutenant colonel bob maginnis, thank you. in the next hour, nic robertson will bring us the latest in libya. we'll be right back. i know what works differently than many other allergy medications. omnaris. omnaris. to the nose! did you know nasal symptoms like congestion can be caused by allergic inflammation? omnaris relieves your symptoms by fighting inflammation. side effects may include headache, nosebleed and sore throat. [ inhales deeply ] i nipped my allergy symptoms in the bud. omnaris. ask your doctor. battling nasal allergy symptoms? omnaris combats the cause. get omnaris for only $11 at omnaris.com.
so listen to this. a potential republican presidential candidate says he would not appoint a muslim to his cabinet or as a federal judge. herman cain was at the conservative principles conference in iowa last weekend when a think progress blog reporter asked if he would appoint muslims to the cabinet or to federal judgeships. this is what he said. >> no, i will not. and here's why. there's this attempt to gradually ease sharia law and the muslim faith into our government. it does not belong in our government. >> so, we want to hear what you think about this. what do you think about those comments? to join the discussion, go to cnn.com/ali and share your thoughts.
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university of california finds that passengers shouldn't be too worry. senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen joins us now. what have you learned? what does this tell us about the radiation? >> this report is really interesting because it tries to put things in terms regular people can understand. we're talking about radiation, it gets confusing. >> yes. >> basically it found when you go through one of these backscatter machines at the airport, you're getting radiation. but one scan gives you about the same radiation you would get by just being in an airplane for two minutes. there's radiation all around us. >> sure. you get it when you fly. >> so a scan equals two minutes on an airplane. >> it sounds like they're downplaying it but it ace not risk-free, right? >> it's not risk-free. using mathematical modeling, we will see more cancers just because of these scans. but the numbers are teeny tiny. that's my term, not theirs. take a look at this, for example. say you had 100 million passengers who were flying and
they took seven one-way flights per year. you would have six extra cancers. by "extra," i mean because of the scans. six extra cancers in the 100 million passengers. so that is a small number. now, i'm not making a judgment. those six people might not be very happy about this. >> sure. six is six. >> but it is a small number. right. >> i've been through these machines and i can't imagine how a child must feel going through them. it's a little strange. maybe it feels like a game to them. i'm curious, is there an added risk for children? >> there is because they're smaller and their bodies are growing rapidly. they did another analysis in this report where they picked 5-year-old girls, looked at 5-year-old girls. they said if 2 million 5-year-old girls took one round trip flight a week, those are very active 5-year-old girls, you would see over the course of their lifetime one extra case of breast cancer. so i think these numbers sort of put it well because you can sort of -- you have a choice. these numbers kind of tell you the data that you need to make that choice. >> speaking of choices, just as
we wrap it up, you have a choice even to not do these. >> right. >> and get the pat-down. >> right. you can opt out and get the pat-down. for my empowered patient column on thursday, i asked doctors including sanjay gupta, what they do. you can find out when he travels. >> that's such a tease. i go through them because i don't want the pat-down. >> some people don't want it. some people say even a tiny bit of radiation i don't want it. it's very personal. >> very personal. thank you. appreciate it. secretary clinton weighs in on the future of the war in libya with more on that, next. [ male announcer ] 95% of all americans aren't getting enough whole grain. but actually, it's never been easier to get
now a look at news you may have missed. the u.s. supreme court heard arguments today in a major sex discrimination case against walmart. the court will decide whether the case can go forward as a class action lawsuit potentially involving 1.5 million female workers. if so, walmart could be liable for billions in damages and backpay. secretary of state hillary clinton says military action will continue until libyan leader know moammar gadhafi ceases his attacks on civilians. clinton has been discussing libya in london. she says there has been no
decision about arming the rebels there. syrians jammed downtown damascus today cheering for president bashar al assad. the cabinet resigned a while back. it's been reported that al assad will ease an emergency law that's been in place for half a century. this follows antigovernment protests in southern syria. u.s. citizen, pass port in hand, stopped at the border, then sent to another country. did i mention the citizen is just 4 years old? we'll follow her attempt to get back to her native land, back to her home, when we come back. ♪
welcome back. it's 46 minutes past the hour. sometime tonight emily ruiz, who's just 4, should be reunited with her parents in the united states. why do we care? why are we telling you her story? emily is a u.s. soit accident born in this country to guatemalan parents who aren't citizens. she went to stay with her grand mother in guatemala. this who she and her grandfather tried to fly back to the u.s. but her grandfather was stopped by customs agents at dulless
airport. he had immigration problems dating back to the 1990s. emily had and still has a valid u.s. passport, but she's also a small child. that was a complication. her family says authorities gave them a choice. either send emily back to guatemala with her grandfather or put her in state custody with strangers. now, remember, she's only 4. whether emily's parents were given the option of picking her up at the airport is in some dispute. we've been trying to set up a phone interview with the family attorney but he and emily are on a plane right now from guatemala. we're hoping to get them as soon as we can. once we make contact and a connection, we'll bring that story and interview to you. meanwhile, mention sex tourism and thailand may come to mind. but you may be surprised if not shocked to know sex trafficking and sex tourism are thriving right here in the united states. and many of the victims are very young girls being smuggled across the border with mexico. rafael romo looks at this
disturbing trend. >> reporter: by the time this man gets out of jail, he will be 76 years old. the mexican national was sentenced to 40 years in prison after being convicted of forcing into prostitution young girls he smuggled from mexico to atlanta. >> he was the head of a human trafficking ring that brought ten young women here from mexico on the promise of love and marriage and coming here for a better life. and after he tricked the women into coming here, he then forced them into prostitution. >> reporter: according to sally yates, u.s. attorney, some of the victims were as young as $14 year old and were held as slaves, forced to have sex with dozens of men every night in locations around the atlanta night. >> in fact, the first night that they were here these young girls were forced to have sex with over 20 men each. there were some nights it would be as many as 40. >> reporter: nine of the victims testified in course against
cortez-mesa. >> reporter: one of them testified that cortez-mesa would say that he would take it out on her mother if she tried to escape. authorities say the level of cruelty against the victims is hard to describe. >> daily beatings to remind them that they needed to stay in line. atrocities hard to believe occur here in the united states. >> reporter: this case tried here in the federal court building in atlanta is an example of how human trafficking crosses borders. the victims were recruited in mexico by mexican traffickers, braut illegally to the united states and offered to american and also foreign customers. >> it used to be that sex tourism was something that you thought of, for example, in thailand. well, now people are coming here to have sex with young children. >> reporter: in addition to cortez-mesa, five other members of his ring, including a brother and two nephews, pleaded guilty to similar charges. they were all given sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years.
raphael romo, cnn, atlanta. with the japan nuclear disaster on everyone's mind these days, we want to show you where the united states actually ranks when it comes to alternative energies. stay with us. use magnesium, an ingredient that works more naturally with your colon than stimulant laxatives, for effective relief of constipation without cramps. thanks. [ professor ] good morning students. today, we're gonna... hi. i'm dan hesse, ceo of sprint. the other day, i looked up the word "unlimited" in the dictionary. nowhere in the definition did i see words like... "metering," "overage," or "throttling"... which is code for slowing you down. only sprint gives you true unlimited calling, texting... surfing, tv, and navigation on all phones. why limit yourself? [ male announcer ] sprint. the only national carrier to give you true unlimited. find out more at sprint.com. trouble hearing on the phone? visit sprintrelay.com.
for renewable energy in this country. first let's starts with how we actually get power here. the u.s. energy information administration shows we get most of our power from fossil fuels as you can see there, 92% comes from oil, gas, coal and nuclear. these are all nonrenewable forms of energy. so basically once we've used them up, we can't get any more. and of course they aren't great for the environment either. so what about that other 8% or so of renewable energy? take a look at this pie chart, this is the u.s. renewable energy consumption. this is how it breaks down. the majority comes from something called hydro power, basically power from moving water. there you can see how the rest of it all breaks down as well. you'll notice last on the list, just one tiny piece of that pie that we hear very little about, the most about actually, is solar power. solar power is likely the one that you know the most about so why is it at the bottom of this list? that very small slice? here to tell us why is rine
rafaeli, head of the solar division, director of the national center for photo voltix, a national renewable energy lab. he's joining us via skype from golden, colorado. rine, tell us why solar energy is at the boxt the list when it comes to consumption? what's holding us back? >> it's kind of ironic, isn't it? you know, we have, say, an incredible solar resource in this country, enough sunlight hits the planet every hour to power mankind's needs for the entire year, but in terms of renewables it's such a small portion of our portfolio. there's several reasons. it's sort of the new kid on the block. we've had hydro power and wind power for quite some time, so even though we've had solar for years it still is an emerging
technology. and, say, 20 years ago it was still very expensive so it had a hard time competing with a lot of the entrenched staples, if you will, of our energy portfolio. >> and we know that it really takes quite a bit of surface area to install the solar panels. solar energy also goes away, obviously, when the sun goes away. so why do you think we should be putting all of these efforts into solar energy? >> well, you know, in terms of the amount of power that's coming from the sun, even during those daylight hours that we're able to harvest it, it's still an incredible amount of energy. now, one of the things with regard to the fact that it peaks in, say, the middle of the afternoon, that's actually when our peak power consumption is as well and so it turns out, as more and more energy utilities go to time of day pricing, that
further incentivizes the use of solar, because, you know, the solar energy production peaks right when our demand peaks. so it's actually very well matched. >> so, is there anything that we can do as a country to bring solar power higher on the renewables consumption list? >> well, there's some great opportunities that already exist, sort of in the solar realm, in terms of the incentives that are available to the consumers, either through the state or federal tax breaks as well as some municipalities have gone to net meter reading where the utility company will actually pay you for any excess electricity you use. it does require up-front costs right now in terms of purchasing the array, but there's new pricing models that are emerging where developers that buy the array and you pay them back over
time. and so, you know, even today though it makes good economic sense in large portions of the country, portions where we have a lot of sunlight, utility costs are high. it already makes sense. you can pay off your rent in literally five years and it's warrantied for 25 years. for the next 20 years you're making profit. >> well, they're certainly expensive so hopefully the tax incentives will help encourage consumers to start using them at home. we will see. rine rafaeli, thank you so much. to learn even more about solar power and see how solar energy stocks are doing since the japan nuclear disaster, head to cnn.com/ali. we'll be right back.
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when a group of people feel they've been wronged and they want to seek help from a court, does size matter? the size of the group, the size of the claim, the size of the defendant? those are the questions argued before the highest court in the land today in a case that by any standard is big. it dates back a decade. six women who worked for walmart claimed they didn't get the same pay and opportunities the men did.
the issue now is whether other women employees, past and present, can join what would then become the largest classes action employment suit in u.s. history. walmart, america's largest private employer says no, the classes would be too big, the plaintiffs too dissimilar, the issues too many to litigate. the plaintiffs say walmart wants a big company exception to the civil rights laws. two lower courts ruled the class and the case can go foird. that brings us to the supreme court where we now have three women justices, the most ever, and we want to talk about this with cnn senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin. he joins us from our d.c. studios. jeff, you told me yesterday that you didn't think justices ginsberg, sotomayor and kagan will cut the walmart women any slack. do you feel the same way? >> reporter: after listening to the argument this morning, my inclination is to think that ginsburg, sotomayor and kagan may well vote for the women plaintiffs in that case, but it's likely to me, it seems,
they'll be outvoted. i thought it was a very good day in court for walmart. i would not be at all surprised if the whole case were thrown out after listening to the justices today. >> what do you think is at stake for these women who are involved in this case? i know this is just to talk about whether or not the case can go forward as a class action suit. this isn't guilt or innocence yet, but what's at stake in. >> the issue is whether this group, which may be as many as 1.5 million who still work or used to work at walmart, were discriminated against. a big factor in the argument today was that it is conceded by all sides in the lawsuit that the official policy of walmart, the written personnel policies, say there shall be no discrimination against women and diversity is an important value. what the plaintiffs' lawyers were saying was that that policy was so vague that it gave local, individual store managers the
opportunity to discriminate against women, which in fact they did. the more conservative justices on the court were saying, well, if that's the case, how can you try them all together, because each store had a different set of circumstances? how can you do a class action when the policy is a fair one, a good one, and it's only the individuals who were possibly discriminated against? >> so if this goes forward, we're looking at tens of millions of dollars at stake here. what might this mean then for walmart and possibly other corporations? >> well, i think it's billions, not millions of dollars. when you consider that there are potentially 1.5 million plaintiffs, all of whom could be looking at thousands of dollars of recovery, even for a company as big as walmart, that would be a very substantial litigation risk. if this case, if the plaintiffs somehow win, and get certified as a class, i wouldn't be at all surprised to see walmart settle this case, just to get that
neer enormous risks off its books. after today i think walmart will be a lot less willing to settle because it looks like much or all of the case may be thrown out by what is an increasingly conservative supreme court. >> let's listen to some sound. both sides talked to report ers endzed today. let's listen to one of the plaintiffs and also one of the walmart executives. >> i brought this case because i believe there was a pattern of discrimination at walmart, not just in my store but i believe it's across the country. since we have filed our lawsuit, since 2001, i have heard from numerous women, telling me basically the same story as mine, of disparaging treatment and lack of promotion as well and lack of pay. >> what's wrong with this case is that three plaintiffs are trying to represent more than 1.5 million associates. i've had a very positive experience at walmart, like thousands of other women, and
not being able to opt out of the case is wrong. >> clearly hearing from both sides on this issue. jeff, if the class employees is certified, what does that mean? >> that means the case can proceed. that means that, in the next step, there would be a trial. walmart would be tried for sex discrimination against this very large group of plaintiffs. and the plaintiffs can contend that just because you're big doesn't mean you should be excused from the sex discrimination laws. walmart contends, just because we're big doesn't mean you get to go on a fishing expedition with just a handful of plaintiffs. you know, one of the facts that is a very important fact in favor of the plaintiffs here is that 80% of walmart's hourly employees are women, only about a third of the managers are women. that's a fact that came up in oral arguments today, but it doesn't prove in and of itself
that walmart discriminates. we'll see whether these women get their day in court. it's not looking too good at the moment. >> and apparently won't know a ruling on this until about june or so. we'll watch it and watch it with you, jeffrey toobin. thank you. moving to japan now, workers at japan's fukushima daiichi plant are struggling to keep the reactors cool. japanese officials have reported plutonium in the soil near the power plant. they say it's not a dangerous level of radioactivity to humans. workers at the plant have been working grueling schedules of three 12-hour days before getting a day off that site. syrians jammed downtown damascus today, cheering for the country's president. the pro-government rally follows violent clashes between protestors and security forces in the past few days. the syrian leader's cabinet resigned just a short time ago. a government official says syria's president assad will
make a very important speech tomorrow that will reassure the syrian people. just last hour, secretary of state hillary clinton condemned the syrian government's violence toward protestors. our sound effect is a chilling episode from the ongoing horrors in libya. you may have seen the desperate attempt by a woman named eman obeidy to tell the world that she was kidnapped and raped by the forces of gadhafi. she burst into a hotel and even battle-scarred foreign correspondents could not believe their eyes. >> no, no, no! >> that was the result of government handlers trying to keep the woman quiet. in the process, of course, making her the face of brutalized civilians. eman obeidy was hustled away on
saturday and though officials said sunday she had been released, no one has seen her since. now this update, the government of libya says the men who the woman have accused of rape have filed charges against her for slander. we're hearing from the libyan opposition that one of the accused is a cousin of moammar gadhafi. through it all, eman's family waits and prays for signs she is still alive. leaders are waging the battle against gadhafi on two fronts. we get the latest from the military and diplomatic fronts, next. [ woman ] we take it a day at a time.
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there is the military and diplomatic front. the fight for libya is intensifying on both fronts right now. on the diplomatic side, we just heard from secretary of state hillary clinton in london a short time ago where leaders from the u.n., nato, eu, arab league and various coalition groups are talking strategy about libya. the u.s. plans to hand control of the mission to nato tomorrow. on the eve of that handoff, the diplomats are forming their next steps against gadhafi. here's what she said just a bit ago. >> we have not made any decision about arming the rebels or providing any arms transfers so there has not been any need to discuss that at this point. we did discuss nonlethal
assistance. we discussed ways of trying to enable the transition national council to meet a lot of their financial needs and how we could do that through the international community, given the challenges that sanctions pose. >> now here's the latest on the ground. there are reports the rebels' advance west has pretty much stalled. some of the most intense fighting is taking place in western libya as rebels advance into territory loyal to moammar gadhafi. aided by coalition air strikes, anti-gadhafi forces are now in control of ras lanuf and al brega, a key oil town. but they've apparently been pushed out of ben gentlemjgentl jawad. gadhafi forces a resident says is pushing hard to take over misrata. there's reports that tanks are shelling civilians. he described the scene as
absolute and utter carnage. let's go straight to nic robertson, in tripoli. let's talk about what's happening there on the ground. gadhafi forces again attacking misrata. also, libyan state tv just now saying that military and civilian locations were bombed in tripoli. can you bring us up-to-date on the latest there? >> reporter: well, in the past couple of hours we heard heavy bombing here, three very loud explosions coming within the spaces of a minute. what's made this particular bombing different from the others, this one happened during daylight hours and about 20 minutes before we heard an aircraft fly or couple of aircraft fly overhead twice, quite slowly it seemed. and we haven't heard them quite so clearly. so it appears bombing runs here, of course, the government here has said many times that there have been civilian casualties. they have so far not been able to show us any civilian casualties that they have claimed. it doesn't mean to say they're
not happening. it's just that the government here is utterly, utterly unable to substantiate what it's telling its population on state television. in misrata, the claims by rebels that the government forces are going door to door in some cases, making people flee their homes, we are not able to independently confirm that. it is consistent with video that has -- that the rebels have sent out from misrata over the past few weeks. what we saw on the outskirts of misrata yesterday was a large presence of gadhafi's forces, a lot of very heavy damage and clear signs that gadhafi's army are hiding their tanks under trees to keep them out of the sight of coalition aircraft. heavy artillery weapons, we saw there as well. so it's very clearly a fight where gadhafi's forces have at their disposal the heavy weapons, the damage and video of which we're seeing being inflicted upon the rebels in the center of the city.
randi? >> reporter: and in his address last night, i want to talk about president obama, because he said that regime change by force is a mistake, that gadhafi won't actually be taken out by military power. how do the rebels feel about this? because they need and want more military assistance, don't they? >> reporter: they do. if they're going to sweep across the country as they've said they want to and remove gadhafi by force, then they're going to need time, weapons, organization, training, and the support of coalition aircraft. where they have their front line roughly right now between ras lanuf and bin jawad, that's sort of where the desert territory, the easy to gain territory, runs out and becomes more agricultural farmland closer to gadhafi's hometown of sirte where there's greater support for gadhafi, where he's armed the civilians. the tribes there we've been told are loyal to him, and that's what rebels seem to be finding.
it's a long way for them to push their military force all the way to tripoli. this is what we saw driving to misrata yesterday, rolling countryside, heavy green fields, heavy with agriculture, heavy with farms, and a population that may well stand up against the rebels. that's not clear at this stage. so the rebels, if they are going to do what they want to do, are going to need a lot more pep than they're getting at the moment. much more of a long-term propositi proposition, but it does seem to be emerging behind this military move a greater effort to put pressure on gadhafi to leave the political playing field, not to let his country be destroyed and let others take over the leadership through negotiation. randi? >> nic, i want to ask you about this woman eman al obeidy, who desperately tried to tell her story to journalists. she was taken away. her family hasn't seen her since. the government there says she's safe.
what is your take on what's happening with her? >> reporter: it's very hard for us to tell. it's very hard to take what the government tells us at face value because so often it proves not to be true. they say she was released. her family, her mother who's just been interviewed by cnn's reza sayah in tobruk said the last time the family spoke with her was by telephone on sunday. they haven't heard from her since. they believe she is being kept under house arrest in tripoli, at her sister's house, but it seems all her communications are cut off. we have no idea. we can't independently go to that house. certainly we've heard that there are security officials yout side of there who turned people away from trying to go to the house. so really her situation is still very, very uncertain and very hard to take what the government says here at face value. they just repeatedly show that
their words prove to be hollow, ran randi. >> now to see she may face slander charges if she is alive and well anywhere, just remarkable. nic, thank you. appreciate that. meanwhile, a potential republican presidential kand dad says he would not appoint a muslim to his cabinet or as a judge. he was in iowa when a think progress blog reporter asked if he would appoint muslims to the cabinet or to federal judgeships. this is what he said, herman cain. >> no, i will not. and here's why. there is this creeping attempt, there is this attempt, to gradually ease sharia law and the muslim faith into our government. it does not belong in our government. >> and we've just learned in the last hour that cain is slated as a probable gop presidential candidate who will head to new
orleans in june to speak at the 2011 republican leadership conference. so we want to know what you think about this. we want to hear from you on this topic. what do you think about herman cain's comments? you can join the discussion by going to cnn.com/ali and share your thoughts. ts, free-nights... ...and free breakfast at hotels in virtually every city. so, thanks to this large man in a little jetpack... you can search thousands of hotel freebies... right now only at priceline. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] with amazing innovation, driven by relentless competition, wireless puts the world at your command. ♪
today as demonstrators show their support for the opposition forces in libya. secretary of state hillary clinton met with envoys from over 40 countries in london today to discuss the coalition's military action and the need for political solution in libya. in libya, heavy fight willing between government forces and the rebels continues. in iraq, at least 45 people were killed when militants stormed a government building and took several people hostage. it happened in the northern city of takrit. security forces battled the attackers for several hours before finally regaining control of the building. takrit is the hometown of saddam hussein and has been a hotbed of the insurgency. in michigan, unemployment benefits have been slashed, extending them to 20 weeks from 26 weeks. the move makes michigan the first state in the country to reduce the number of weeks jobless workers can get state benefits. and it's time now to check
in with chad myers. i see you have japan on the map. you must be talking about radiation. >> well, it depends on which way the wind blows, so to speak, which way some of this radiation dust and humidity can go. what we don't want is a wind out of the northeast that blows wind, blows radiation, blows dust and all that back toward tokyo, back toward the most pop lated places. and what we've seen so far, this is going to be the next 45 hours, watch that wind barb right there because there's the plant, that wind barb kind of slips around a little bit, back and forth, by mainly offshore. light and variable winds for the rest of the week, i would say less than five miles per hour. they would like maybe a little bit high eer than that to blow e radiation farther away, not have it linger around the plant. but you get what you get and at least it isn't coming in. the bay yway you get a big prob for tokyo, plant a low there, call it a nor'easter, a lot like what we'd have running up the east coast.
if you get winds out of the northeast from that low, that would be the worst-case scenario for tokyo. that happened for a couple of days, a week and a half ago, and the radiation spiked in the tokyo tap water. not to a point where they were really concerned, but that's where the spike totally came from. >> can we talk about the catlin ice base? our correspondent finally got there. what is he facing there? >> there, i've got one for you. it actually warmed up today. warmed up to zero. they said they could really feel the warmth. you know when you lower your standards to minus 30, i guess zero is okay. >> look at this. >> they did get off the ground, the wind stopped. there was almost a ground blizzard. you couldn't see where the ground started and the land began in the sky. it's better today, they're on their way. we'll have the story in a bit. >> we certainly will. as you said, it's really, what,
one of the coldest places i guess on earth? >> it's the reason -- they call it ice base for a reason. >> there's a reason why. >> santa claus is right there. >> thanks, chad. you just heard about the weather up there. next we'll go to one of the coldest places on the planet. leap cousteau gives us an update on his journey to the arctic. hi. i'm dan hesse, ceo of sprint. the other day, i looked up the word "unlimited" in the dictionary. nowhere in the definition did i see words like... "metering," "overage," or "throttling"...
which is code for slowing you down. only sprint gives you true unlimited calling, texting... surfing, tv, and navigation on all phones. why limit yourself? [ male announcer ] sprint. the only national carrier to give you true unlimited. find out more at sprint.com. trouble hearing on the phone? visit sprintrelay.com.
philippe cousteau has finally arrived at catlin base. this morning ali velshi spoke with cousteau about his journey. >> this is truly extreme science. philippe cousteau and the cnn team have finally arrived at the catlin ice base. that is inside the arctic circle, the site dubbed the ground zero for climate change. scientists will deal with brutal storms, well below freezing temperatures, and isolation. and our crew is there to capture it all. philippe joins me from the catlin ice base, a cnn first. we have never broadcast from this close to the north pole before. philippe, good morning to you. tell us about the circumstances under which you are there and what it's like this morning. >> reporter: well, good morning, ali. delighted to join you. it's, to say the least, very cold outdoors. we arrived yesterday here on the
catlin ice base, and the conditions are pretty clear, but we're surrounded by an arctic desert. and actually standing on an ocean essentially with about five feet of ice beneath us. >> philippe, what are you doing there? what are you looking for? and what are you going to do to find out what you're out there to find? >> reporter: well, we're here for a week, ali, with the catlin arctic survey, a group of scientists looking at various different issues to understand how the arctic system works, how the ecosystem and environment works here, what's happening with the ice caps, with the uptake of carbon in the environment, with salinity changes in the ocean. really trying to get a bigger picture and more complete picture of what's happening with respect to the health of this environment that is so important to everybody on the entire planet.
i think a lot of people forget that the arctic really is in a sense is the air conditioning unit of the planet. it matters to every one of us. understanding what's happening here and science of what's happening here is very critical. >> philippe, i spoke to you just before you left. we were together in austin. it was a lot warmer. we're going to see on cnn the fruits of your and the scientists' labor out there because it will be a special on cnn. but who are you with and how did you prepare for this? >> reporter: we're with a whole team of scientists up here that have been here i'm going to say certainly a lot longer than we have and will continue on for several weeks after we leave. so they're really the heroes in this situation. they're the ones braving the subzero temperatures, temperatures get down to about minus 40 degrees celsius, minus 40 fahrenheit. that's where celsius and fahrenheit intersect. last night in the minus 30s, there's no heat in the tents. we're sleeping on the ice itself. and a few heated communications in mass tents.
other than that, there's science tents that aren't heated. it's really on the edge of science exploration here. these scientists are the ones that are at the forefront of understanding these complex systems of how the arctic works. >> philippe, for you to say you're on the edge of exploration means it really must be something because you've taken a lot of ricfkz and done lot of things. i know you went through some pretty good training, even training to keep the polar bears off. stay safe. glad to hear from you. we'll stay in touch. philippe cousteau at the catlin ice base inside the arctic circle. >> to read cousteau's daily blog and see videos including a cool one about how to survive an encounter with a polar bear, head to our blog. american-muslims were again on the agenda for congress today. a senate judiciary subcommittee held a hearing to consider
measures to protest the rights of american muslims. senator dick durbindurbin, a de it from illinois said it's focussed on anti-muslim bigotry in this country. >> terrorism is not the subject of today's hearing. we should all agree that it's wrong to blame an entire community for the wrongdoing of a few. guilt by association is not the american way. american-muslims are entitled to the same constitutional protections as every other american. >> an unrelated hearing was held earlier this month on american muslims by the house homeland security committee, the focus was the radicalization of muslim-americans. the chairman of the committee, peter king, defended the hearing. >> let me make it clear today that i remain convinced that these hearings must go forward and they will. to back down would be a surrender to political correctnesses and an abdication of what i believe to be the main responsibility of this
committee, to protect america from a terrorist attack. despite what passes for conventional wisdom, in certain circles, there is nothing radical or unamerican in holding these hearings. >> the first american-muslim elected to congress, democrat keith ellison, spoke against the hearings saying it was misguided. he broik down as he told the story of a muslim-american who tried to save lives during the september 11th tragedy. >> he bravely sacrificed his life to try to help others on 9/11. after the tragedy, some people tried to smear his character, solely because of his islamic faith. some people spread false rumors and speculated that he was in league with the attackers because he was a muslim. but it was only when his remains were identify ied that these li
were exposed. he was a fellow american who gave his life for other americans. his life should not be identified as just a member of an ethnic group or just a member of a religion, but as an american who gave everything for his fellow americans. >> moving moment there for congressman keith ellison. also earlier in the show we told you about potential presidential candidate herman cain. he made remarks about not appointing muslims to his cabinet or as a federal judge if he is elected president. we asked for your comments on our blog and we got many of them. care listen says -- i thought discrimination based on religion was illegal. and jerry weighs in saying -- herman cain are right on together. muslims are guided by the sharia
law so if a muslim were to gain a position he must support that law and not the law of the united states. another post -- potential republican presidential candidate herman cain is just another republican who does not respect the law or the constitution. on another note, why a black man who comes out of a history of discrimination would openly and ignorantly endorse the practice of discrimination is beyond shameful. martin luther king must surely be turning over in his grave. rich also wrote us -- muslims do not belong in our government nor do they belong in our judicial system. we do not want their decisions to be influenced by their goals or religious beliefs. to join the discussion, go to our blog, cnn.com/ali, and share your thoughts. our soledad o'brien reports on what happened when they decided to build a muslim mosque in the bible belt. "unwelcome: the muslims next door" ires saturday, 8:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. what one pilot found on the
welcome back. we have some breaking news for you. to talk about new concussion protocols, they've just been established by the major league baseball and major league baseball players association. we want to tell you what they are. they are, the key components of the policy, include a mandatory baseline neuropsychological testing requirement. that's the first one. that would be for players and umpires during spring training or whenever a player joins a club during the season. there's also protocols for evaluating players and umpires for a possible concussion as
well as the establishment of a seven-day stabdisabled list now concussions, aiming to allow concussions to clear, prevent players from coming back to the field too quickly. and one more protocol for clearing a player or an umpire with a concussion to return to activity. they'd actually have to submit a form and make sure that they are cleared from the disabled list. so some new protocols related to concussions for major league baseball, announced by the league as well as the players association. just a short time ago. in other news, you might have missed, in libya, government tanks and artillery today pounded misrata in a bid to regain control. residents say they're killing civilians and terrorizing the city. cnn is unable to confirm the report but a cnn crew was in misrata yesterday and says rebel forces are retreating from the city. radiation levels outside japan's crippled fukushima
daiichi plant are down today, but there's a new problem. where to store the contaminated water. workers are pumping water into the damaged reactors to keep them from overheating. all the storage units are filling up. sandbags and concrete panels are being used to prevent water from leaking into the ocean. the u.s. supreme court is hearing arguments today in a major sex discrimination case against walmart. the court will decide whether the case can go forward as a class action lawsuit potentially involving 1.5 million female workers. if so, walmart could be liable for billions in damages and backpay. fbi investigators are working to discover the cause of a small hole found in the body of a us airways jet. airport officials think it could have come from a bullet. a pilot discovered the hole on the plane's left side before scheduled takeoff. it had recently arrived from philadelphia without incident. the plane was immediately taken out of service. tens of thousands protest in
michael holmes is here to talk about all kinds of things, as you take us globe trekking. >> there's so much going on. >> so much going on around the world. it's hard to keep up with it. glad you're here. let's start with syria. damascus, we just saw that huge pro-government rally there, the cabinet is resigning. what does all of this mean? >> couple of things, the rally for start, tens of thousands of people turned out, some say couple hundred thousand. there is support for apresident
assad in syria. that's not surprising. it's also worth remembering this was a government organized protest. people were given days off to go there. with the cabinet resigning, don't read much into that. like a lot of countries in the region, the cabinet doesn't run the country. the country is run by the regime, that is president bashar al assad and the regime. it's not a one-man show there. it's important to remember. he's been seen as a bit of reformer in many ways, not getting aloft the reforms done in the past. why? because there's hard-liners in the regime that don't want anything to change. >> does he have any options? he already said he would go. >> he's offering more concessions. he's not going anywhere at the moment. there's talk he may in his speech in the next 24 hours actually announce the removal of the emergency laws that have been in place since 1963. that would be significant were that to happen. but in terms of where it goes from here, very difficult to
tell. there's a lot of regional implications. >> because syria is aligned with, what, lebanon, iran, a close ally. >> and important to remember that hezbollah, its patron is syria, hezbollah is enormously powerful in lebanon. there's rumbles from the sunni side of lebanon. nobody wants it to bleed into a country already wracked by civil war. iran? best friends, too. >> puts the u.s. in a tricky position. >> it does. the u.s. has tried to reach out to bashar al assad, trying to get a day taunt with the syrians. no real results but they were hoping. it was on a bit of a path. they're going to be very upset about what's going on themselves as well. >> sure. we spend a lot of time talking about libya, yemen, egypt. what we haven't talked a lot about is afghanistan and taliban. >> right? remember iraq, afghanistan? we've got to talk about that. gains have been made in the east by the taliban.
they actually took over control of a district, entire district, in one of the eastern provinces there. there's been a lot of activity up there. the local police say they're going to retake the district, whatever. but it's important to balance those gains by the taliban with gains by the coalition in the south around kandahar, helmand province where the surge was really pushed. you've seen a lot less taliban in that area it's like squeezing the balloon and they're going elsewhere to get a foothold. it's very close to the pakistan border, easy to set up training camps. that's something the coalition is worried about and the afghan army. they're going to be drawing down in the next couple of years. >> on a brighter note, can we talk about prince william's secret stag party? >> i know you wanted to do that. it would have been much more fun if it was prince harry. he's alwaysed one into mischief. >> i heard he was making a trek with his pals but he has to be back for the wedding. >> he was there. it was actually well-behaved. they were going to go down and
do water sports, go figure, but the media heard about it, the dreaded press, so they changed it and went to a friend of the family's remote home in the countryside and apparently a few of the lads had a fairly quiet night. >> did you have a spy there? >> no, no, no. i didn't. i know somebody who knows somebody who knew somebody who was there. it was all very quiet and the miss us to be had hers as well. >> a hen party, is that what they call it? >> yes, a hen night and buck night. she had a very quiet one as well. altogether too well-behaved. prince harry, when it happens for him, look for a party. >> oh, yeah. if he gets married. >> we'll see. >> thank you. >> good to see you. with everything happening with japan's nuclear power plant disaster, the world is focusing on renewable energy. we'll take you through the power of green energy coming up.
the nuclear disaster in japan has sparked a renewed push for renewable energy in this country. let's start by how we actually get power in this country right now. take a look. the u.s. energy information system shows we get the majority of our power from fossil fuels, 92% of our energy comes from oil, gas, coal and nuclear, judging from this, these are all nonrenewable forms of energy. basically, once we've used up all of those forms of energy we
can't get anymore and of course they haven't great for the environment either. so moving on, what about the other 8% of renewable energy? here's how it breaks down when it comes to consumption. 35% hydro power, 24% wood, 20% biofuels, 9% wind, and 6% biomass waste, 5% geothermal and 1% solar. so, moving on, we'll take a look, let's start with the hydro power. that's basically just power generated by moving water. that means water over dams, tides, in and out of the ocean, wave power, ocean thermal. ocean thermal is power pulled from the temperature difference in shallow versus deep water. now look at wood. it sounds like the stone ages but burning wood for power is still used in this country. it's actlly used as power more than solar and wind energy combined, believe it or not. biofuels is also used as a power source in the united states.
ethanol and biodiesel are both used as fuel in cars, on the road right now, as you know. and looking at wind, wind energy is extremely popular right now. wind turbines can be installed in water and on land to create power. there are even wind turbines that can be installed in your backyard, believe it or not. you can do it now if you want one. b biomass waste is next on the renewables list. paper, cardboard, food leftovers, grasses, leaves wood and leather products can all be burned to create energy. that's the biomass. now let's talk geothermal energy. this is pretty fass nating stuff, i think. geothermal energy involves heating and cooling water by pumping it down below the surface of the ground. so in summer hot water can be pumped down below the surface to cool it off. even cool water in the winter can be pumped below the surfaces to actually warm it up. and here is solar energy. we can collect, store and use energy from the sun right here
on earth. pretty cool. 1% solar. to learn more about renewable energies, head to our blog cnn.com/ali and we'll link you up to the department of energy. donald trump on the hot seat for his own birth certificate, his own birth certificate? we'll explain that coming up. nobody in my family ever had a heart attack. if anything, i thought i'd get hit by a bus, but not a heart. my doctor put me on an aspirin regimen to help protect my life. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. check with your doctor because it can happen to anybody.
time now fora cnn political update. donald trump who recently challenged president obama to produce his birth certificate is now in the hot seat over his own birth certificate. shannon travis joins us from washington to explain. hi there, shannon. >> hey there, randi. donald trump has been called a lot of things over his lifetime, but hypocrite? there are charges right now of hypocrisy, some are charging hypocrisy. his lawyer is saying he's not a hip credit. let's give you some background. you and our viewers have probably noticed how lately donald trump, as he supposedly explores a presidential bid, is thinking about it at least, has been questioning, saying he wonders whether president obama was actually born here in the u.s. there have been some calls for
donald trump to release his own birth certificate. he release a document yesterday to news max, a conservative web site, but it wasn't a birth certificate. it was some kind of birthing document. his lawyer now tells cnn that he will -- that that was a mistake. that he will in fact put out his birth certificate. as for this whole issue of president obama being born in the u.s., we know that he was born here, but donald trump is supposedly going to release his birth certificate, randi. >> all right. well, we'll see if he actually does. always interesting to watch what he has going on. shannon, thank you. have you ever heard of a snake that tweets? i'll tell you about one coming up next. but if you run before the wind you can't take off. you've got to turn into it. the thing you push against lifts you up. so, every challenge is a chance to show that even in this crazy world of no liquids and route cancellations someone still has the passenger's back. and along the way we'll prove we're not just
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selectquote. we shop. you save. time now for my "xyz." i don't care for snakes very much. if fact, i'm downright terrified of them. so i'm happy to be in atlanta and not new york city where the deadly egyptian cobra is on the loose from the bronx zoo. it hasn't been seen in days but it seems to have developed a voice in the twittersphere. the snake or whoever created a handle in its honor has true celebrity status and its own page. the snake has more than 30,000 followers. at this rate, yeah, it might be able to break charlie sheen's record. on twitter, the snake bills itself as an egyptian cobra out on the town, apparently tweeting about its trips to wall street, good vegan